Softbody dynamics with mparticles in 3ds max 2014

Posted by Johannes Tiner 1 year ago

Let’s see how we can make some softbody dynamics with mParticles inside of 3ds max 2014. It’s useful for so many things and once you get the softbody going it’s not hard to get the metal denting happening. It’s easy to do and i know you want to learn how to do it!

What we will cover in this 3ds max mParticles tutorial

  • The Glue operator
  • Basic rules
  • Physics

Softbody dynamics is not for softies

Softbody dynamic is an awesome effect and works for most things. Try it out for yourself. Maybe adding it to some 3d text? just remember to have enough detail on your geometry. Pro tip incoming – Getting this effect to your 3d text requires you to quadify your mesh with the Quadify Mesh modifier (unless you want to actually model you text) since the front and back of your text can’t be deformed otherwise.

Get your softbody hard

Why not try to get your 3d model to act like metal, give it a try, it’s not as hard as you might think. Wisdom words incoming – By trying out for yourself you’ll learn so much more, you could say that failing is winning when it comes to learning. Once you get the desired look, you have learned so much more than what you would have if just following instructions. Post your results people! Rock on!

  1. ershad

    hey u are awesome dude…..!

    1. Right back at’cha ;)

  2. Hmd

    That’s Breliant … Thank You JOHANNES

    1. Well thank you my good sir.

  3. Chad Smith

    Thanks you sir! Great stuff!

    1. Thanks Chad, my heart is now a couple of degrees warmer ;)
      I checked out your website, looks awesome, good stuff!

  4. AVD

    Awesome tutorial!
    It’d be cool to see a follow up showing how to attach the soft bodies to animated objects and other ways to make use of them. I tried messing around with Lock/Bond together with Position Object, but it just kind of explodes when I try to use them together even though the help file says it should work. :

    1. Hey there!
      You can skip the Lock/bond and instead add an mPSwitch before the world and check the position and rotation (if you have any). This will tell pflow that you want physics but also obey your keyframes or whatever else none physics you got going on.

      And don’t forget to check the animated object, subframe sampling and the lock on emitter in the Position Object.

      And i shall keep this in mind for a future tutorial :)

      Here is a quick setup you can look at
      Phys with Keyframes

      1. AVD

        Wow! Thanks, Johannes! I’ll check it out as soon as I get home!

      2. AVD

        Finally got to check the file out. It’s doing exactly what I wanted! One problem though, it only works once for me.
        I open the file and hit play, the sphere moves and deforms against the boxes. It’s perfect! Hit play again and the deformations stop working. The sphere animates but doesn’t deform. It does this no matter how many times I open the file.
        Ever seen that happen before?
        Anyway, hanks again for the sample (and all the tutorials). I’ll study it to see how you set it up. :)

      3. Sounds good :)
        You have to create a new driver in the mP World for it to work, never thought about that before since i usually cache my simulations.

  5. Chris

    Hi ,how you doing ?
    I really like your video , its a great tutorial.
    Thanks for sharing all info’s.

    I am using 3ds max 2012 and doesn’t have the ”mp clue” .
    How can I import the ”mp clue” in particle view window ?
    I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.


    1. Hey there
      You then need to get Orbaz Box#2. Orbaz website

  6. Yahiya

    hello! that was absolutely amazing, I saw the comments to see if someone asked my question.. well I’m not really that good in particles and my question is.. can we bake the animation of the object into key frames?
    thank you very much for sharing your knowledge!

    1. Hey!
      To get keyframes you would have to mesh it with something like Xmesh I’m sure there are some free alternatives on :)

  7. Atz

    hello tnx for the awesome tutorial but i have a problem
    i can’t get it completely binded no matter how much i change the bind distance, any idea why? heres a pic

    1. If you can, send the file over via dropbox or similar so I can check it out for ya.

      1. Okey so i had a look. They are binding but you need to select “Vertices All” in your position object because right now the particles are just spread out randomly. After that you need to up the “Max Binds p/Particle” in your mP Glue to 6 instead of 4.

        After that your pretty much good to go, ju can adjust the “Subframe Factor” in your mP World to make it softer/harder.

  8. Atz

    tnx alot

  9. hamza

    hello that was a cool tutorial i wonder how can i make two sphere or more hit each other and bounces off ?

    1. Johannes Tiner

      Hey there!
      It’s simple, you more or less just copy/paste your stuff so you have 2 “systems”. Not the Pf source one.
      2 Balls collision file
      pflow collisions

      1. hamza

        thanks a lot i didn’t thought that it was simple :)

  10. Cleps

    Hi and thanks a lot for your tuto. I’m new to mass fx and quite a beginner with pFlow in general but your tuto was very clear and easy to follow.

    I’m trying to understand how I could “pin” some vertices of an overall shape and let the rest be simulated. For instance, have the top vertex/vertices of the ball stuck to their position or link to an object, and see the rest of the ball bouncing and hanging.

    I tried to do this with a kind of rope. I isolated the first and last vertices with a Split amount and gave them a stop. These vertices don’t move, but the rest falls to the ground. So it is definitely not the solution^^

    1. Cleps

      Hi, sorry to comment again, but I wanted to know if you had any idea about how to “pin” some particles to the world or to another object and have the rest of the particles to stay bound to the first one but having the “soft” binding between them.
      I don’t manage to get that. Either they are simulated, either they are pinned. Not both…

    2. Cleps

      Hi, sorry to comment again, but I wanted to know if you had any idea about how to pin some particles to the world or to another object and have the rest of the particles to stay bound to the first one but having the “soft” binding between them.
      I don’t manage to get that. Either they are simulated, either they are pinned. Not both…

      1. Johannes Tiner

        You could bake the first animation with something like xMesh or PFlow Baker and then “pin” a particle to that.

        I’m not 100% on what you are after so sorry if the answer sucks :P

        Or are you just after a rope animation and then have a object (particle) at the end of the rope?

      2. Cleps

        Don’t be sorry, my request was not really clear.

        I was after this kind of things : (see at 11:30)

        I don’t know if it’s still possible on 3ds max 2014 with either mParticles and mGlue or either another method.

        To be honest, the first goal of all my searches was to simulate the movement of a sliding curtain. As I’m curious and I wanted to try and find the best method, I found you tutorial and thought it could give some results.

        I explained my goal a bit more in a french forum, there is a pic of the type of curtain :

        If you want some translation or more explanation, I can send a mail (my address is

        I don’t want to fill your comment zone or take all your spare time, so if you can’t help that’s totally ok. But if it’s possible, I’ll be glad to hear you, so I can improve!

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